BIFCA Manual

The Brief International Functional Capacity Assessment (BIFCA) is a performance-based measure of functional capacity that assesses an individual’s ability to perform key tasks of daily living.

The Brief International Functional Capacity Assessment (BIFCA) is intended to provide evidence of level of functional capacity for everyday functioning in patients with schizophrenia. It was designed to be used as a co-primary outcome measure in clinical trials of cognition-enhancing drugs for adults with schizophrenia and related disorders.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Initiative, Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS), was designed to stimulate the development of psychopharmacological agents to improve cognition in schizophrenia and other related disorders. The BIFCA grew out of this Initiative and was developed to meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirement for a co-primary outcome measure for cognition-enhancing drugs for schizophrenia. The development process included: 

  • Sponsorship by a government-industry-academic collaboration (MATRICS-CT)
  • Consensus process and collection of empirical data
  • Demonstrated relationship to cognitive deficits and functional outcomes
  • Multiple studies investigating psychometric properties and cross-cultural adaptability of co-primary measures.
  • Subtests selected for their interpretability across cultures
  • Convenient administration, easy to include with other outcome measures

The development process is described in more detail in the following articles.

  • Green, M.F., Schooler, N.R., Kern, R.S., Frese, F.J., et al. Evaluation of Functionally Meaningful Measures for Clinical Trials of Cognition Enhancement in Schizophrenia.
  • Velligan, D.I., Rubin, M., Fredrick, M.M., Mintz, J., et al. The Cultural Adaptability of Intermediate Measures of Functional Outcome in Schizophrenia.
  • Velligan, D.I., Fredrick, M., Mintz, J., Li, X., et al. The Reliability and Validity of the MATRICS Functional Assessment Battery.

The BIFCA includes three modules to assess functional capacity in the following areas of basic living skills:

  • Comprehension and planning
  • Household management
  • Work and productivity

Through standardized performance-based simulations of daily activities, individuals demonstrate their:

  • Capacity to plan
  • Capacity to identify problems and generate solutions
  • Ability to persist in an activity

The commercial version of the BIFCA is currently offered in the following languages:

– Simplified Chinese
– English
– German
– Hindi
– Japanese
– Spanish – Central and South America
– Spanish – Spain
– Russian